This is Becca! Yesterday was such a culture shock. In american society we always are 'doing' stuff. We have to get something done or accomplished to feel like we are helping, but yesterday changed my thinking about that! At the home for sick and dying children all the kids wanted was your love. Just to simply be held, hugged, and payed attention to was all they needed. That's why my word was 'present'. Just being present in the moment was how we could serve the Haitian people yesterday, and also today too while doing water truck. When the people were filling up buckets from the truck, the kids would run into your arms and innocently tug at your shorts just begging to be loved. Today I learned that serving God's children can be as simple as giving people water and a hug. Today we also took some neighborhood kids in the tap-tap to play soccer on the fields where the Haitian World Cup Team practices. You would never guess that these dirt fields would be used by common kids and worldwide superstars alike. That is something that is so different from back home; People are less focused on what is 'mine'. This trip has definitely been very trying of my faith and has for sure changed much of my thinking. I praise God; he has provided for us and kept us safe!
This trip has been absolutely incredible so far and we've only done ministry for two days. I'm writing this from the upstairs patio of the guest house and we just finished worshipping with Fan-Fan (one of the coolest men I've ever met) and the other group that is here doing ministry. Because I didn't talk about yesterday I want to now. I went to water therapy in the morning and worked with disabled kids. That was an amazing start to the week, because all we had to do was hold the kids and try to make them smile while wading around in one of the best pools in Haiti. It was so awesome to hear how water therapy had helped each of the six individual children. I loved holding each child and hearing his or her story and just being fully present with them. Who gets to say they had that experience?! Not many people, but let me just say everyone that hasn't is missing out. We also went to an orphanage yesterday and I loved interacting with all the kids, especially this thirteen year old boy that was very attached to me. I loved how he asked for a picture with me and held my hand. Again, it was perfect to just be in that moment. So, getting to today, we went to Cite Soliel, which is one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the world. It's amazing to say how safe I felt with our interpreters because they were always watching us. My favorite part of the day was right after we got out of the tap-tap and stepped down into a sea of children with raised arms just waiting for love by a touch and a smile. Each child chose one of us and clung on to us as long as we were there. I love how far a smile can go. I can't even explain how life-changing that experience was, because no one honestly understands how beautifully heartbreaking delivering water and loving children is in that environment until they're there. I've been continually in prayer both of these days and just keep asking God to help me love like him. I can't believe how perfect this experience is. I'm loving every single moment and can't see where the rest of the week takes us. ~Kenzie Korsi
Hello Woodridge Church!! Emily Johnson here! I am here on the porch looking out at the poorest country in the world, but yet you still hear people praise our lord Jesus Christ! It has always been my dream mission trip to come to Haiti! It has been 8 years that I have been praying for the opportunity to come here. And with patience and thanks to my lovely father it finally happened! And the ironic thing is it was my last opportunity to go with Woodridge because I am going to college in the fall at Eau Claire. CRAZY HOW OUR GOD IS/WORKS! My cousin Kayleen went last summer to Haiti with Healing Haiti and ever since she told me about this incredible organization, so again I prayed that if I were to ever go to Haiti that it would be awesome to go with healing haiti!! Two months later it was announced that we were going to Haiti with healing haiti! WHAT?! I was amazed! What are the chances! God answers
prayers. Now being here I know why he put it on my heart all these years to come to this country. Its beautiful here... I want all my friends and family to experience the joy that I have experienced. I have never experienced so much. For the last 5 years I have struggled with anxiety. Today was the first day in the last 5 years I have felt complete peace in my life. Glory to God for that! And the amazing thing was we were experiencing the most stressful and tragic day we will ever have in our lives being in Cite Soliell. You see pictures and videos of poverty but seeing it live makes my heart ache even more for God's people. At the water truck there were naked kids with smiles on their faces. They were drinking the drips of the water hose. Just little drips of water! They even put buckets up to the drips so no water was wasted!! Seeing that made me think even though it was one drop of water to them it brought every joy and smile to their faces. All the children would try to talk to me, and I couldn't understand them. But one way we did communicate was through smiles. Because we all smile in the same language! Thats one thing that we will always understand no matter where we are in this world. And I think how cool it is that God created something that we can all understand. I could go on and on but
everyone wants to write! Thank you to all that supported us! I can't thank you enough. I love you all! God Bless! -Emily Johnson
Water truck Wednesday was absolutely amazing. Driving up to the first stop in City Soliel and seeing all of the children jumping up and down saying "hey you!" put a huge smile on my face. When the truck honked its horn, people came flooding into the street with their buckets and whatever else they could find that would hold water. Right away when we were all getting off of the tap tap children came running to us with smiling faces, holding their arms up waiting for us to pick them up and hold them. I held a little girl who wouldn't let me put her down. She didn't want to share me with anyone else either. When I put her down she started crying, so I couldn't help but pick her up again. At the next stop, I had 3 kids at one time holding them and smiling at them. Then a lot of us sat down and sang Jesus loves me with them. I absolutely loved experiencing today and seeing how much joy one hug can bring to a child. I wish this trip would never end. Also, these Haitian kids are amazing at soccer. I don't think they needed us on their team!
Yesterday I got the privilege to go to the home for sick and dying children. The rooms were just lined with cribs with little children in them. But at the end of the room I saw a bigger girl who looked like she was 5 or 6. It seemed like everyone was picking up the crying babies and I felt like this little girl never got attention. So I took her out of her crib (which was way to small for her) and I walked around and talked to her and she wouldn't let go of my hand. Her name was Johanna, and it turns out she was 10 years old! 10 years old and I thought she was 6! That just goes to show you how small these children are. All I could think about was my 10 year old sister back at home and the differences between their lives. I was just so thankful to be able to spend time with her and make her smile. Today I also got to make children smile as we delivered water. We all played many roles, from holding the powerful hose that the water came gushing out of, to quickly moving buckets that needed to be filled, to holding the beautiful children shouting "hey you". This experience was nothing like I imagined and I couldn't have asked for anything better. I loved being able to communicate through smiles and laughter with the kids. There were even some children that spoke a little English. Many children from our neighborhood spoke English. It was an awesome experience when we took them to go played soccer...where they kicked our butts! But I was able to talk with a 15 year old named Dickenson about his life here in Haiti. It is just so awesome they way God enables us to connect with others from the moment we met them.
// tomorrow we head to grace village (healing haiti's orphanage) to play with the kids & we will also visit visit with the elderly in their homes that healing haiti supports...